Tag Archives: immigration reform

Which is it: shutdown or deal on budget?

On one day, the president of the United States declared there would be a government shutdown if Congress didn’t come to a decision on an immigration package that secured our borders.

That is that. No deal, no government. “I would love a shutdown” if there’s no deal to build a wall. “Without borders, we don’t have a country,” Donald Trump declared.

The next day, U.S. Senate Democratic and Republican leaders cobbled together a budget deal that funds the government for two years. It’s a bipartisan agreement. Oh, and it doesn’t have any money for the wall the president wants to build across our southern border.

No worries, said the president. He’ll sign it if it gets to his desk.

So, which is it? Does the president want the wall or does he want to fund the government and avoid a shutdown that could occur later this week?

Honestly, I prefer the second version of the president’s current view. I believe he should sign the bill if it clears the House of Representatives, which at the moment is going through a revolt among members of its most conservative members. They hate the bill because it spends too much money and, yes, doesn’t include money for the wall or other border security measures.

They call themselves “fiscal hawks.” They say the Republican Party no longer can claim to be the party of “fiscal responsibility.”

Here’s what I hope happens. The House agrees on the Senate bill, they send it to the White House, the president signs it and then all sides — Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the president — get to work immediately on resolving the issue of immigration.

A viable government needs to proceed without the imminent threat of shutting down.

I am one taxpaying American citizen who is damn tired of this Band-Aid policy of running the government.

Can we just agree to keep the entire federal government functioning and serving all Americans while our representatives do what they were elected to do?

It is called “governing.”

Rep. Pelosi sets a blab record

This record needs to stand for a long time.

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California believes strongly in immigration reform. She believes so strongly in it that she is able to talk for a verrrry long time about why Congress needs to enact it.

Pelosi put her commitment to the test today. She took the floor of the House and spoke — non-stop, without a break — for eight hours. She argued passionately on behalf of “Dreamers,” those undocumented immigrants who were granted a reprieve under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established near the end of the Obama administration.

That’s a filibuster-length harangue, only they cannot call it that in the House; only the Senate allows filibusters, which enables senators to talk about whatever the heck they want for as long as they want.

Here, though, might be the most remarkable element of the Pelosi gabfest.

The former House speaker happens to be 77 years of age. Do not accuse me of being sexist by mentioning Pelosi’s age; I would say the very same thing about a comparably aged male member of Congress if he were able to talk as long as Pelosi has done.

Pelosi’s astonishing display of endurance is likely to remain on the books for a long time.

Nice going, Mme. Minority Leader.

POTUS shows that ‘Fire and Fury’ is accurate

Michael Wolff wrote a book, “Fire and Fury,” that alleges that the president of the United States is clueless about government and the issues of the day — among other things.

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr. responds that the book is crap; it’s fiction; it’s fake.

Then he convened an open-mic session in the White House to discuss immigration reform — and manages to demonstrate in real time the accuracy of Wolff’s description of Trump’s handling of affairs of state.

The man is clueless! Really! He doesn’t have a clue!

Trump said he’d sign whatever immigration bill the congressional leadership brought to his desk. Then came House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to remind the president that, actually, he cannot make that promise.

Why? Because the GOP base won’t stand for just any old immigration bill, such as something that doesn’t include construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border.

This is deal-making? This is how the “art of the deal” gets done?

Margaret Carlson, certainly no fan of Trump, wrote this in the Daily Beast:

What the White House actually accomplished Tuesday is the opposite of what it set out to do—set the bar low and show a president carrying out presidential tasks competently. If this had been Trump at the first tee, he’d have shanked it 50 yards into the woods. Into the bargain, the White House staff took more mulligans than (Bill) Clinton ever did. Aside from giving in to his Democratic captors, all the king’s men couldn’t keep him from going off script to long nostalgically for the olden days of Jack Abramoff memorial earmarks.

Read the rest of Carlson’s essay here.

Wolff actually stated in “Fire and Fury” that the White House operates in a state of constant confusion, chaos and contradiction.

I believe we have seen a demonstrable example of what Wolff wrote.

DACA outcome remains worrisome

Donald John Trump spoke sympathetically about the need to craft a bill of “love” as it regards immigration reform.

The president used that language that some of us thought was a signal that he might bend a bit on his insistence that we kick every single illegal immigrant out of the United States of America.

I remain worried bigly about the fate of those illegal immigrants who came here not of their own volition, but because they were brought here when they were children by their parents.

They are the so-called Dreamers. They are recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals policy enacted by President Barack H. Obama. The president granted these residents temporary reprieve from deportation while they sought a pathway to permanent legal status or perhaps citizenship.

It’s a humane policy. It allows these individuals to continue living as Americans in the only country they’ve ever known. There have been many success stories involving DACA residents: they have achieved academic excellence; they have enrolled in college; they have founded successful businesses.

Trump, though, eliminated the DACA rule. He said Congress had until March to find a legislative solution.

And then a federal judge in California weighed in with an injunction that orders the president to delay the elimination of DACA . The White House calls the judge’s decision “outrageous.”

What I consider outrageous would be to round up these Dreamers and send them to back to their country of origin — which are, pardon the intended pun, foreign to them.

I want to implore Congress and the president to think about the “love” they say they want to enact. An immigration package ought to include some form of DACA that allows these individuals to stay here, to continue to contribute to our national fabric.

These residents need not be banished to a country they do not know.

If the president is going to insist on a bill of “love,” here is his opportunity to deliver on it.

Immigration reform might be on the horizon

There you go, Mr. President.

Sit down with Democrats and Republicans, talk out loud in front of the media about ways to reform the nation’s immigration policy.

Before you know it, you can get leaders from both parties speaking encouragingly about the prospects.

Donald Trump led a lengthy meeting today in the White House with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders. He talked openly with them about allowing so-called “Dreamers” to stay in the nation while beefing up border security and perhaps giving greater consideration to families when considering granting legal status to immigrants.

The president and lawmakers say they have reached a sort of tentative agreement on an immigration reform package. A key component could be a way to preserve a portion of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals provision, which then-President Obama established as a way to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought here as children.

Trump said he would ask lawmakers to hammer out the details and promised to sign whatever bill they bring to his desk.

See? This bipartisan approach to legislating actually holds key opportunities for leaders of both parties.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted that this approach means “both sides” have to surrender something and that he would be “the first” to offer some compromise.

Those of us who want comprehensive immigration reform can feel a bit heartened by what transpired today. According to The Hill : Trump expressed sympathy to immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age and now face deportation, urging negotiators to pass “a bill of love.”

Now, will all this go down in flames if Democrats say something that ticks off the president? That’s happened before. The president does have this habit of reacting badly when he hears a negative thought.

There’s little likelihood the bill will be completed in time to avoid a government shutdown on Jan. 19. Here’s an idea: Approve yet another temporary funding measure and get to work without delay on repairing the immigration system.

Don’t build that wall!

Donald J. Trump keeps harping on the need to build a wall that he wants to stretch along our nation’s southern border.

How many times must opponents of that idea say it? Don’t build the wall! Don’t appropriate the money to build it! Don’t pressure Mexico to pay for it!

The president wants Congress to appropriate $18 billion for the next five years to get started on the wall.

Do not go there!

Am I advocating a totally open border? No. I am totally in favor of increased border security. The use of drone aircraft is OK with me. Providing more Border Patrol officers is a good thing, too. Deploying more electronic surveillance equipment to stop illegal immigrants is fine as well.

The country needs to secure its borders, north and south — and east and west!

The idea, though, of erecting a wall along our border is bad symbolically. The notion runs directly counter to the national creed of being a welcoming place. Does that mean we allow anyone who wants in just to walk in without proper credential? No!

I do support the president’s concern about bad guys finding their way into the United States. His concern over criminals entering this country has not been a point of contention with me.

What has troubled me is the president’s approach to dealing with that concern. A wall won’t keep bad guys out. And that nutty boast about “getting Mexico to pay that wall” makes no sense. One sovereign nation cannot order another sovereign nation to spend a dime.

If we have a problem with illegal immigration, it is our problem to solve. A wall is not a solution I want to subsidize. However, I am willing to support a comprehensive approach to solving this dilemma.

That should include a far-reaching reform of our nation’s immigration policy. Yes, more security should be an option, but we can provide it without walling off the United Stats from our hemispheric neighbors.

How do we stop these ‘lone wolves’?

The immigrant from Uzbekistan who drove a rented truck into the New York City crowd this week illustrates the extreme difficulty in fighting this war on international terrorism.

How does the United States prevent a lone wolf who enters this country legally — even if he’s been through “extreme vetting” — from committing the act of terror we saw in New York?

Donald Trump says the nation is going to end the visa lottery program that enabled the suspect to enter the country in 2010. Of course, as is the president’s tendency, he has politicized the issue by blaming Democrats for their so-called lax immigration policy; he ignores the fact that the law under question was signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

My point on this matter is that lone wolf attacks are going to occur despite our best and most diligent efforts to root out evil doers before they commit their terrible act.

I say this also as someone who supports the president’s desire to implement an “extreme vetting” policy for those seeking to come to this country.

But let us not forget, too, that homegrown Americans are capable of committing infamous and dastardly acts. The Las Vegas massacre this summer; the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995; the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre; the Charleston, S.C., church slaughter? All of those evil men were native-born, corn-fed Americans; they only represent a fraction of the carnage committed by American-born terrorists.

The Uzbek suspect came here under an existing policy. There reportedly was no sign that he harbored pro-Islamic State sympathies. He became radicalized while living among Americans.

Then he took out his rage. This is why the war against international terrorism is so damn difficult to wage.

Donald Trump = Loser

Donald J. Trump is such a “loser.”

He backs losers. He listens to the advice of loser advisers. The president who promised to make America a “winner” again is, um, just another loser.

There, Mr. President. How does that feel?

You see, “loser” is a favorite epithet of Trump’s. He hurls it at political foes. He even calls international terrorists “losers,” which if you think about it is a fairly mild form of insult one might toss at mass murderers and genocidal maniacs. 

CNN reports that Trump is furious at his political team for talking him into backing U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama’s Republican Party primary election, which Tuesday night nominated former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. GOP voters spurned Trump’s guy and went with Moore, the man known for his rocky tenure as head of the ‘Bama high court. He got tossed from his judicial perch for violating the constitutional prohibition on promoting an official religion and for refusing to back a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affirmed gay marriage.

Trump is steamed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who persuaded Trump to back Strange. He’s mad at Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, who urged the same thing. The president just hates being associated with losing, according to CNN, which reported: “Losing is bad for his brand,” another GOP adviser to the White House said of Trump.

The president is on a bit of a losing streak. Not only did he back the wrong pony in the Alabama U.S. Senate race, his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have face-planted for the umpteenth time. Oh, and special counsel Robert Mueller has kicked in his legal after burners in his efforts to get to the bottom of “the Russia thing” that Trump has acknowledged caused him to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

This is the gospel truth, but I take no real pleasure in calling the president a “loser.” He’s beginning to exhibit the first glimmers of getting it by reaching out to congressional Democrats on this immigration matter involving those who were brought here illegally as children. They want to stay here and want to achieve citizenship or permanent legal immigrant status.

But … that’s about it.

Is POTUS getting it, finally?

Pity the president of the United States’s “base” of supporters. Well, actually, I don’t.

They’re suffering acute apoplexy because Donald J. Trump is beginning to show the faint signs of understanding something about the high office he occupies. It is that he even though he didn’t win a popular vote plurality in 2016, he won enough Electoral College votes to become elected and, therefore, he has to deal with the wishes and needs of those who voted against him.

Immigration is the issue of the day.

Trump is sounding like someone who wants to strike a deal with congressional Democrats and moderate congressional Republicans that would give so-called “Dreamers” a path to citizenship and/or permanent immigrant status. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order issued by President Barack Obama has been rescinded. Trump, though, says he wants to strike some sort of deal to protect the DACA residents, to keep them in the only country they’ve ever known.

You see, about 800,000 of these U.S. residents came here as children — some of the infants and toddlers — when their parents sneaked into the country illegally. The Trump “base” considers these folks “criminals.” Well, their parents broke U.S. immigration law. But does that mean we punish the children for the sins of their parents? Let’s get real here.

The president still wants to build that wall along our southern border. We’ll have to see how that struggle plays out with the aforementioned Democrats and moderate Republicans in Congress. In my mind, the wall is a non-starter. Mexico won’t pay for it. American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for something the president said would be financed by another government.

What’s more, the wall won’t make this country any safer from terrorists, and assorted criminals who want to come into this country to do grievous harm.

I don’t feel a single bit of sympathy for the Trumpkins who just can’t stand the thought of their guy working to fulfill the interests of the rest of the nation he now governs.

DACA ‘deal’ produces more … chaos

Chaos, anyone? Anyone?

“Chuck and Nancy” had dinner Wednesday night with the president of the United States of America and then announced they had reached an agreement with Donald J. Trump on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals rule.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the deal involves legislation to restore DACA that “excludes the wall” that Trump wants to build across our nation’s southern border.

Cheers went up. The illegal immigrants who were brought here as children wouldn’t be rounded up and deported back to countries they don’t know, given that they grew up as de facto Americans.

Trump had rescinded the DACA executive order and gave Congress six months to craft a legislative solution to this problem. The Chuck-and-Nancy announcement seemed to give the DACA residents some hope, some reason to believe they could proceed toward full U.S. citizenship or permanent immigrant status.

Not so fast, said the president.

He insists he didn’t agree to forgo money for the wall — which he has said Mexico would pay for, over the strenuous objections of that country’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto.

Good grief, dude! Two leading Democratic politicians — both of whom have been at this governing thing for a long time — make an announcement, that is contradicted immediately by the president of the United States.

Perhaps Chuck and Nancy should bear some responsibility for this latest round of chaos as it involves the president.

But all told, the rollout of this so-called deal bears the marks of the man who is unable to formulate a smooth strategy — for anything. 

Do they have a deal or don’t they?

Just think: We’re only eight months into a four-year term for the president. This confusion and chaos does seem to make the time drag, doesn’t it?